The First Central Asian Forum on Intellectual Property was held in Kazakhstan on 15-16 April, 2021 on the threshold of International Intellectual Property Day (author’s comment: celebrated worldwide on the 26th of April).   

Organization of the Forum on Intellectual Property was not accidental in the presence of the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, large-scale digitalization, since right now the sphere of intellectual property in Kazakhstan, as well as in the world acquired completely new significance.

It was also a significant and interesting event, which was attended by lawyers from leading law firms, copyright holders, government officials from the countries of our region, as well as from Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria.

The main achievement of the Forum was its focus, first of all, on participants from the countries of the Central Asian region. This made it possible to exchange views not only within the country, however also with our foreign partners, and “try on” their experience in relation to Kazakhstan. One of the advantages was also the fact that the organizers managed to bring together leading experts from different countries, representatives of government agencies, creators of intellectual property products and in addition attract business representatives to discuss outstanding issues in the field of IP, develop suggestions and recommendations for the strategic development of this area.

For two days, Kazakh and foreign speakers discussed the global technological and economic challenges facing business and the country in the light of large-scale digitalization, various aspects of the creation, management and protection of intellectual property, application of digital solutions in legislation and lawmaking. Many of the issues re-emerged due to the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. In our opinion the Forum covered such interesting topics as use of artificial intelligence in justice, a report on user content in social networks and its legal features, comparative reports on the methods and features of legislation on the protection of IP in neighboring countries at an example of the legislation of neighboring countries: Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, the Russian Federation and Tajikistan, as well as reports of colleagues on the latest technologies for the protection of data in the Internet.

The main interest of the participants was in the sections related to trademarks (protection and enforcement), the least popular were the issues of patents and the commercialization of intellectual property objects. The issue of collective management of copyright, in particular import duties for audio and audio recording equipment created the most heated debates.

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the related restrictions, the Forum was held this year online, there was a lack of live communication and the Forum itself was held in a not quite usual online format for us, however thanks to this format, it became possible to participate also to our foreign colleagues.

We hope that next year this Forum shall become an annual event and shall be held offline and shall provide an opportunity for Forum participants to communicate live.

We express our gratitude to organizers, to each speaker and listener for the opportunity to exchange views and next year we invite copyright holders and government agencies to use the Forum as an international communication tool for dialogue on the development of intellectual property in the digital economy.

Sincerely yours,

Yuri Bolotov